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Good Words 1860
John Evangelist Gossner


II. THE TEACHER.

"He has done more than we all."—Dr Buchsel.

Before leaving Leipzig Gossner quietly passed into the Protestant Church, and partook of the Lord's Supper. The immediate reason seems to have been that, while his zeal to preach would not suffer him to remain inactive, his pastorate in the Romish Church was evidently at an end. There was no additional inward light, only an additional outward necessity. So long back as 1804, this necessity had placed the thought before his mind. The persecution of Augsburg suggested it very forcibly. In his diary he wrote, at the close of that year:—"Neither the spirit of the times nor the philosophy of the day can redeem men from their sins; neither do the ruling superstition nor the mechanism of its popular worship and the daily priesthood redeem men from their sins; one can see that with both eyes. What is to be done? This is a question I am, not yet ready to answer. Neither Borne nor his holiness the Pope frees us, but only empty the purse by their dispensations and screw down upon us countless forms and bring us under a yoke which we can no longer bear." If, on the one hand, his mind was not yet made up, on the other hand, it is plain that the question with him was more one of personal liberty than of ecclesiastical principle—that there was nothing in the idea of the Protestant Church with which he was at variance, and that he did not join it before simply because the pressure from without had not culminated. From that time the unsolved question was frequently brought up to him. From Dirlewang, he turned once to Schoner in Nuremberg, to ask his advice. "Remain where you are," he said, in the true spirit of the time; "the Lutheran devil is every whit as black as the Romish." Again, in 1811, he made a journey to Basle for this special object; but when there it seemed as if the stones burned under his feet, as if an inward voice warned him back, as if it was God's will that he should still preach the gospel in the Church where God had found him. Had he not to go daily through a dead service? But Sailer had taught him to spiritualise it; and beneath every form to see the pure stream of the water of life. Were there no traditions that made void the cross of Christ? But he believed, with all of his school, that they were the work of Scribes and Pharisees, and that one might still hold the pure old faith. He wrote a tract to shew how the Church-fathers held it. "Our heresy," he said, "stands in every prayer of the mass." He did not look at the question in a broad way as one of abstract right or wrong; his personal needs supplied him with his point of view. So long as he could freely teach Christ, he had no wish to leave the Church. He united in the closest fellowship with evangelical Christians at Nuremberg, at Basle, at Herrnhut. He sought to build up within the Romish body a living brotherhood of the faith. But he never busied himself with any save practical issues—he never seems to have thought of the error bound up with the system. It may have been partly the tendency of his mind, very much, no doubt, the tendency of the time and the peculiar bias of his university. He saw that the Protestants had a few faithful people, and so had the Catholics—he felt that Jesus was all in all with the faithful of both. Yet, even making large allowance, it is difficult to understand his position, to sympathise with the extent to which his personal love and work for Christ made him careless about all wider questions. There is still much enigmatic, unexplained, perhaps unsatisfactory, in this part of his history—much that the strength and habit of Protestant tradition prevent us from realising. When he left the Romish Church, however, it was only in name; he had left it thirty years before. "Since," he wrote in his petition to the Consistory of Berlin, "through the persecution of blind zealots, I have lost my public sphere of labour, and am a husbandman without land, a shepherd without a flock, and yet feel myself called to work as long as it is day, I beg the honourable Consistory, seeing that my little boat has been driven upon the sands by the storm of persecution, to help it out to the open sea—i.e., to procure me opportunity and permission again to preach in public the Word of God. For thirty years I have had the grace to proclaim the gospel, and, though not outwardly in the Evangelical Church, have been always an evangelical preacher. .... Since I have suffered so much from the Catholic Consistory, I hope and beg that the Evangelical Consistory will heal the wounds, and, like the Samaritan, pour into them oil and wine, and treat with forbearance one who has been often smitten and sorely hurt." There is no error to repent, no dogma to recant; that had been done long ago. He pleads now with a frank dignity as a persecuted preacher of Christ Jesus.

After the petition was presented there were many tedious and vexing delays; after it was granted there were many vexing forms. He had to go through the trials of a candidate. Notwithstanding the friendly kindness and delicacy of Neander, it was a hard struggle for his old man. Then there was difficulty about a church; and it was not till two years afterwards, in the spring of 1829, that he was installed as pastor of the Bohemian congregation in the Bethlehem.

Meanwhile he was not idle. The prayer-meetings of Munich were re-established. Quiet evenings were spent in Christian intercourse. The highest circles opened to receive him. He sat silent and constrained if the conversation was not congenial. If any opening led to Christian subjects he was warm, animated, and eager. He had a horror of religious dissipation, and shrunk from the idle, fluent talk on solemn subjects that prevails in religious circles. But if he noticed any earnestness and real feeling, no one was readier to speak, most of all on Christ in us. After brief, silent prayer, he would open the Bible, read a chapter and explain it, dwelling sometimes on redemption and the new birth, sometimes on the Christian walk and the fruits of the Spirit.

Many were quickened; some were arrested; but ''the good man dreaded the tea that followed the closing prayer, and that the impression would vanish at the clatter of cups, and the busy gossip of the day." Schleiermacher opened his church to him, where the most select, brilliant, and intellectual audiences of the capital assembled. It was characteristic of his large instinct that he discerned Gossner's gifts, and rejoiced in them. No two types of mind, no two modes of preaching, could well be more opposite : the one weaving philosophy into the Christian system, and expanding Christian doctrine into a philosophy,—the other abhorring everything but the bare cross of Christ; the one overwhelmingly eloquent, imaginative, scholarly, ranging over human thought,—the other with his homely, straightforward, unvarying message about Jesus. Madame Schleiermacher found in this preaching what she needed, what her husband had never given. He had no envy, he made no change himself, he was only thankful that his wife was reached. Then the Moravians gave Gossner their hall. The Louisenkirche echoed to his message, and was crowded to the door. And when he ascended the pulpit of Bethlehem, the people flocked to hear him. "Five years since," he wrote to a friend on his installation, "I fell— rather was thrown—out of the pulpit. How hard to climb to it once more ! Pulpit-stairs are perilous for me to go up and grievous to go down." He was pastor there for seventeen years. It became a living centre for the work of God in the city. Church-extension, town-missions, the preaching of the Cross, took their impulse from it. Circles of students assembled about him, whom he urged, out of the fulness of his heart, to the Saviour of sinners. The middle class and the artisans were the special sphere of his influence, and the progress of Christian life in that direction is greatly owed to him; but he was welcomed also in the royal household, and ministered to the dying Princess William. And from this time ''Father Gossner " was a dear and familiar name, spoken with reverence and affection among high and low; as much honoured in the university as by the simple-minded Christians of his pastorate ; more a part of Berlin than even its Schelling or Neander; as much an acknowledged power in it as the police-office or the king.

It was now that the work of his life began. He was in his fifty-sixth year—truly a late starting, but he was singular in everything. God had been educating him; and if the foundation was tedious and deep, the building was a glorious temple of the Spirit. Few men have had such a training; thirty years of conflict without and within; a continued overthrow of his own plans ; the rending of every attachment; persecution and applause; an endless tossing over a stormy sea. No doubt it was needed; God's children are not tried for nought. He who is the treasury of wisdom will not let the painful lessons of years be thrown away; and if we see a man cut down before the gathering of the fruit, can we pierce within the veil ? or can we count the fruit which angels gather with unseen hands? But Gossner was to have yet thirty years of service; and when he died, he was like a tree whose branches bend, with heavy ripeness, to the very ground. Though not congregational, the work with which he will always be associated sprang out of his connexion with the Bethlehem Church. Janike, his predecessor, had founded a mission school as early as 1800. Those he educated he transferred to the English and Dutch societies. His students were the first missionaries of the Church Missionary Society; he could count among them afterwards such names as Rhenius, Nicolayson, and Gutzlaff. Some years before his death, an independent society was formed under the auspices of Neander and others, and which (as the Berlin Mission) has at present fifteen labourers among the Koran-nas and Caffres in Southern Africa. Gossner's name appears on the committee of this Society in 1831. But ultra-Lutheran tendencies sprang up within it; ecclesiastical order and scientific training were more regarded than personal piety; and in 1836 Gossner seceded. He never felt an interest in denominational matters ; any stress upon the form or idea of a church seemed to him a check upon the spiritual life, an outward thing which ought to be passed by among Christians, and more nearly allied to bondage than to Christ. Of scientific theology he had an instinctive dread, lest it should usurp the place of the theology of the heart. "The scholastics," he said, "never opened my eyes; if they did not make me sceptical, they left me just where the false philosophy did." And to philosophy of any sort he was not very patient. It represented the human to him; he wanted only the divine. When Hegel's writing-desk was presented to the hospital, he made a kitchen table of it, and professed it did better service than before. "You would discern no more philosophy in it now," he said, "than a few spots of ink." Nor could he yield to the necessity of learning Ovid and Homer in order to preach Matthew and John to the islanders of the South Seas. He was intensely and necessarily practical; by no means opposed to learning and study, but not able to recognise their place in the mission school, unless as much Latin as would carry one through the Vulgate, and as much Greek as would make the New Testament readable in the original. It was a needful protest, but it was an exaggeration of the truth. Caeteris paribus, the man of cultivation will make a better missionary than the ploughboy or mechanic. His knowledge of Homer will help him when he has to fight with Siva and Krishnu; he is able to turn everything to account; numberless resources are at his command; he is not limited by the readiness of his mother wit, or the honest straightforward dash of his zeal. He may find no immediate application for his learning; its practical gain is to be sought in the tone and grasp it gives to his mind ; in the stead it stands him at some unforeseen crisis. But it was needful to assert that the engines of human wisdom are powerless against the defences of the devil; that the poor, unlettered man may preach Christ more faithfully than any; that our machinery, however cunning and excellent, is often an encumbrance; that the true teacher of a missionary is the Spirit of God; that the ever-present power and help of God is the foundation of missionary success. For some time Gossner remained quietly at his pastoral work, confined, often for months, to his room, by severe pain. There, one day, three or four young artisans came to him. They had been turned away from the seminary as incapable. They burned, nevertheless, to go out among the heathen; they sought his counsel and help. He refused them. They besought him again and again. He prayed for direction, and took them. They came—they were now ten or twelve—a few hours every week. ''What shall I do with you? Where shall I send you?" he said, ''I don't know; I can do nothing for you." "Only pray with us," they replied; ' that can do no harm; if we can't go, we must even stay. But if it is God's work, and His holy will that we go, He will open the door in His time." He withdrew ashamed and strengthened; he felt that the mission was begun. They were excellent workmen, and their masters allowed them two or three afternoons in the week, free. For the rest, they came every evening when their work was over, and learned what they could. Students and young candidates rallied to his help. To teach an hour in the week for Gossner was an honour. And many of them, smitten with the zeal of these humble working men and the influence of the old man's spirit, went over later to the mission-field. It was a singular picture that the pastorate presented on these winter evenings ; the twelve earnest, patient men in fustian, after their day's work, learning as they could the early Church history, or reading in the Scriptures, or puzzling over Greek syntax with the young, half-wondering student, or hearing recitals of the first missionaries, and the story of old martyrs glowing freshly out of the past, while the "father" himself moved about with a word of deep meaning and counsel to each, or related his own struggles, and poured out the most childlike and true prayers. A singular mission that began in a workshop, without money or friends, or any prospect but faith in the living God. But now a question rose about the future. Where were they to go? Who was to send them? Gossner applied to England, and was told that as many men as he could furnish would be sent to the Papuas of New Holland. This difficulty over, another took its place. An ordained missionary must go out with them, and Gossner had none. He sought his usual counsel; prayed that God would give him the man he sought. In a few days a young candi-nate offered himself. After Gossner had proved him, he shewed him the place in his room where he had knelt down to ask him from God. In 1838, eleven missionaries set sail for Australia. Next year, a place was found for others in India. Mr Start was by birth a Quaker, when eight years of age was received into the English Church with his family, and as he grew up to manhood joined the Plymouth Brethren. Possessed of ample means, he travelled to India to evangelise the heathen, and when his wife died, he devoted his entire fortune to mission work. He came twice to Europe for help. The second time Goss-ner's missionaries were on the eve of embarkation; they were much talked of, and he determined to visit Berlin, and inquire for himself. Mr Muller of Bristol accompanied him. It would be curious to know something of the meeting of two men so different from the rest of the world and so like in the work of God, and who were both in their way testifying the same truth—that a man can live by faith. All we are told is, that the missionary candidates were tested during several weeks, and that, in July 1838, twelve of them sailed with Mr Start for India. Five followed in 1839, and in 1840, three more. This was the first of Gossner's Indian mission. Mr Start bore the entire cost. The mission is at the junction of the Gondak with the Ganges, in Berar, and in the locality of the annual holy fair. The mission building had served as betting-room, dancing-saloon, and hotel; the large ball-room was made a chapel. The brethren were located through the district, and streams of blessing flowed out over the dead heathendom. Afterwards, religious dissensions sprang up; Mr Start's position to the missionaries was not well defined; some joined the Church missions, some the Baptist; but, by Christian prudence and forbearance, the danger passed away, and the mission stands " as a bright light in the Church, to the rebuke and courage of many." Meanwhile, other missions were undertaken, chiefly supported by himself. 1839 was marked by one to the Tubuai Islands in the South Seas. In 1840-41, twelve brethren went out to North America to labour among the scattered Germans in the Western States; sixteen afterwards joined them. In 1841 a station was occupied, under peculiarly favourable circumstances, near Nagpore, in Central India; but within a year, cholera swept off the six brethren, and the mission was not resumed. In 1842, five brethren established a station in Chatham Island, near New Zealand; in 1844, four joined their earliest predecessors at New South Wales ; 1845 will be memorable for the establishment of the mission among the Kolis, at Chota-Nagpore. Every year, in fact, has its own story to chronicle of missionaries equipped and stations opened—now it is the Gold Coast, now it is Java or Macassar; at one time under shelter of the Dutch, at another of the English; the Cape has its turn, and so has New Guinea; wherever a people was living without God, there Gossner was waiting to step in. Little wonder that he marvelled as he wrote—"There are missions with zealous friends, hundreds of thousands of pounds, institutions, auxiliaries, collections, subscription lists, and yet they have not done so much as God has wrought through me, a poor, weak shepherd-boy of Bethlehem."

It is difficult to realise that so many missions were conceived, organised, controlled, and sustained by one man. Nor were they either hasty experiments or struggling failures. If any were relinquished, it was with the same deliberation and prayer by which they were begun; and some have been blessed beyond all precedent, so that their story is as marvellous as their founder's. The clearest testimony to their character will be found by grouping them together with their varied results up to the present time. The Australian never reaped any fruit of its labour among the aborigines, sharing in this the fate of all similar missions, save the Moravian; and recently the missionaries, nineteen of whom are there and at Chatham Island, have turned their care mostly to the scattered German population. The North American Mission, which also is mostly colonial, is at present supplied by thirty labourers, and from its very beginning has been made a means of great good. The African has had missionaries at the Cape of Good Hope; twenty missionaries are scattered through Java, Sumatra, Celebes, New Guinea, and elsewhere, in circumstances of the greatest peril and denial, but with less promise. In India there are sixteen, besides seventeen who have joined other societies. Gossner had a prudent and manly horror of reports and statistics as any gauge of success; he took it, that the work is for the most part hidden, and is not to be annually dragged up to the light, as children do with their first seeds. One day, an old friend, as they sat together in his arbour asked him how many his missionaries had baptized, and hinted that it was a matter of curiosity among the brethren at the Pastoral Conference. "So, so," he replied, "the gentlemen would like to know. But do not the gentlemen remember a certain king who thought he would number his people, and what a sorry ending it had?" Yet it may not be out of place to mention that he sent in all 141 missionaries (including the wives of those who were married, 200), of whom 15 were regularly ordained ministers, [With few exceptions, they were students of Halle, and scholars of Professor Tholuck.] and 113 are still in active service; that, at the four stations in Berar, many hundreds have been received into the church, while the scholars number many thousands; and that among the Kolis a work has been going on which exceeds in romantic interest and wonder any story of modern missions, which would require a chapter for itself, and of which only the bare facts can be told here: that in 1851 there were no converts; in 1857 there were 50 villages, with 3000 Christians; and in 1860 there are 300 villages, in each of which there are Christian families—so mightily grew the Word of the Lord, and prevailed.

This is the outline of a solitary, often suffering worker, whose labours did not begin till age is bidding other men to cease. [He undertook his first mission at 65.] "One-in-hand," somebody styled him; "It's quite true," he said, laughing, when it came to his ears; ''and yet old 'One-in-hand' carries more passengers than your Four." And he was right. This unselfish, unconscious, unpretending clergyman, with his few friends and quiet ways, and simplicity like a child's, was doing a work at which the world must marvel. Call him Pietist, Methodist, what you will, there is what he did, the patient, brave, honest effort. Brilliant as other works of the century have been, humbly, self-sacrificingly, faithfully as they have been wrought in science and elsewhere, there are few worthy to be placed beside it. And as you look closer it grows all the nobler, it is invested with a kind of grandeur, for his missionary income never exceeded 1000. It is true that he was at no office expense, that, as he merrily said, he was inspector, director, secretary, packhorse, all in one. It is true that, as most of the missionaries were artisans, they were able to do something for their own support; that brother D------does not think it derogatory to mend watches, nor brother G------ to paint a room, that brother S------can turn an honest penny at job-printing, and brother B------ make lichtbilder as delicately as they do in Berlin itself; but any one who knows the scanty time the missionary must afford to work like this, the loss of broken hours, the difference in the value of money, will conceive that the help would not be very great. It is further true that many of those sent out have been either in connexion with other missionary societies, or have afterwards joined them. But when it is remembered that, with few exceptions, the outfit and travelling expenses of the missionaries fell upon Gossner, and that there were never less than twenty dependent on him for support, and against that is set his poor 1000 a-year, and that itself not collected in any ordinary and certain way, but as people were moved to give, it will be seen that much remains unexplained and, indeed, incredible to our common notions. A clear head and a wise heart, energy, perseverance, system, economy, knowledge of character, go a good way—and he had them in a remarkable degree—for the true worker must have working gifts. No one will feel that this is a solution; since besides the maintenance of the missionaries— and it is their own testimony that none of them ever came to want, but if they suffered from anything it was from superfluity—there were critical periods of the mission history; there were dissensions that might have broken up the stations; there were questions to be decided in the pastor's study that concerned the welfare of God's kingdom in Java and Nagpore; there was a unity of thought and action to be maintained among a hundred men at the most opposite points, and, perhaps, of the most opposite opinions; an unbroken connexion to be kept by letters with every settlement; the mission paper had to be edited; the training school at home to be diligently watched; nay, the very income itself was uncertain, for it was left to the private thoughts of Christian brethren. Whose head would not be puzzled, if left to its own wit, in such a tangle? What nicely-balanced calculations would not be often rudely overturned? What peculiar doctrine of chances would cover with a uniform and calculable success the venture of twenty years? What known human power can determine that when a man receives 20 he will be kept as comfortably as if he had 100? Yet push forward such questions and the world will set busily to answer them; it does not believe in our day that there is anything which it cannot do; it must account for all phenomena upon its own principles. It is a monstrously clever world. Steam and telegraph and photography, and planets discovered before they are seen, Great Easterns, and St Lawrence Bridges are very fair credentials. Victor Hugo may be right in adding balloons, though he will not be forgiven for making them the world's millennium, and therefore its limit. But there is a kingdom into which none enter but children, in which the children play with infinite forces, where the child's little finger becomes stronger than the world's giant; a wide kingdom, where the world exists only by sufferance to which the world's laws and developments are for ever subjected; in which the world lies like a foolish, wilful dream in the solid truth of the day. Gossner had been brought into that kingdom ; these questions were nothing to him, it was enough that he could kneel down and pray. Standing by his open grave, one said of him, and it was not hyperbole—"He prayed up the walls of an hospital and the hearts of the nurses; he prayed mission-stations into being, and missionaries into faith; he prayed open the hearts of the rich, and gold from the most distant lands." And as for his sermons, the power of the words did not lie so much in the thoughts or in the art of the preacher, as in prayer. Prayer was his atmosphere ; he could not live without it. So soon as he came to Berlin, he gathered a few round him for prayer. They continued in prayer while he lived. He could not be present where it was excluded. The Bible Society had determined to open its committee meetings with silent prayer; he protested, and the protest shewed how deeply his heart was sunk in the heart of Christ. "A Bible Society that does not begin with prayer is to my mind a synagoga pro-Janorum. ... I do not despise a short, silent prayer, but it is too little at a Bible Society, and no more than if a nurse said to a child, Make a courtesy, and it made it, and that was all. . . . If I went to the meeting and sought prayer, and it was forbidden, I would take my hat and stick and run out as if a mad dog had bitten me. ... If I could raise the dead, I would go to Wittenberg and call Luther out of his grave, and Spener, and Arndt, and Andrea, and bring them to the Bible Society at Berlin, and let them decide." That was the spirit in which he undertook the mission ; that was the guidance by which it was ruled; and whatever letters, or questions, or threatenings, or difficulties, whatever private or public sorrows reached him from any quarter of the mission-field, they were directly put before God. " Here I sit," he would say, "in my little room; I cannot go here and there to arrange and order everything; and if I could, who knows if it would be well done ? but the Lord is there, who knows and can do everything, and I give it all over to Him, and beg Him to direct it all, and order it after His holy will; and then my heart is light and joyful, and I believe and trust Him that He will carry it all nobly out." He dedicated to this intercourse the latter part of his life; retiring not only from public interests, but from his acquaintances, and incurring the charge of being unsocial and unloving. And he was so guided by the hand of God, and his prayers were so answered, that the universal feeling of the missionaries was, "Who will now lift up his hands to Heaven in prayer for the scattered children?" And so, almost in prayer he died; not, however, for the missions alone.

When he came to Berlin there were no hospitals, there was no visiting of the poor, no inner life stirring in the Church. Germany was just recovering from the paralysis of dead, coarse unbelief, and the materialism of a very false philosophy. For years after he was a rallying-point for the scattered, struggling, feeble, and despised piety. Home missions occupied his mind. He established a society for visiting the sick. It was confined to men.

The women begged him to form and direct one for them. The necessity of an hospital soon became manifest; and in 1837 a house for forty was erected, and in 1838 enlarged for twenty more. Thirteen deaconesses remain in the hospital; as need arises, some are draughted elsewhere, and new candidates supply their place. The training is intensely Christian; the organisation just as simple. Many of the deaconesses have gone to heathen mission-stations. In all, 160 have passed through it, and 7000 sick been received. The Elizabeth Hospital was a favourite haunt of Goss-ner's. As in the mission, he was factotum; chaplain, director, friend. Early on the Sunday morning his figure might be seen rapidly advancing up Potsdam Street till it vanished in the hospital doorway. He was on his way to hold a brief lecture for the inmates able to attend. The room used as a chapel would hold about fifty; it was always crowded. He sat in a low pulpit at the upper end, a genial-looking, lively old man. His white hair peeped out behind under the little black skull-cap; his eyes (I saw him last five years ago) still shot keen, searching glances from below the massive, close-knit brows; he had the high cheek-bones of the country, as high as Luther's, but in proportion to a longer face; a sweet, gentle expression played about his mouth; the features altogether were prominent, seamed with deep lines, almost rugged. His exposition was simple, naive, personal. The homeliest Bavarian stories would be dropped in to illustrate it. The Scripture was pictured from the life of the present day. If he found the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judah, he could not help bringing him into the Thier-Garten of Berlin, and drawing the doctors of the law and the soldiers and students out to him through the Brandenburg gate. Gleams of the playfullest humour lighted up the most commonplace truths and views; and, after an hour of close personal conversation, he would cease. His infant-schools occupied some of his time; the Sunday evenings were given up to visits from young men, many of whom could date their faith and peace from the words he spoke in those quiet hours. He wrote much to the very last. At seventy he learned English, and translated some of Ryle's tracts when he was upwards of eighty. His writings, at present numbering forty-six, occupy a separate Book and Tract Society; and many volumes of posthumous papers are announced. Those already published possess an unusual popularity, some having run through annual or semiannual editions for many years. Up till the spring of 1858 he corrected proofs and continued his correspondence. The summer previous he was still able to train his vines. By the end of March he had fought the good fight and finished the course —a young old man of eighty-five. He had seen the stately hospital Bethanien spring up in the Koppnicker fields; he had seen new churches, new preachers, almost a new, and that the very oldest, gospel; he had seen the network of the Inner Mission covering the great cities, religious feeling penetrating everywhere, throwing up its growths on the surface of every society. He had lived through the great religious crises of modern times — through Illuminism, Rationalism, Ecclesiasticism—through the throes of the new life and the growth of the rebaptized Church— through a rare epoch of thought, and science, and progress. They had touched him in turn, but only as the ripple of distant storms runs round a solitary rock. His life was single—the life of a heart, and went out from its own centre—the life of an Abraham, going out and knowing not whither, following the word of the Lord—the life of faith, from which the events of the world for the time being fall back into shadow, supreme in its own interest and Divine companionship. By faith he preached Christ crucified in the Church of Rome; by faith he resigned his cure in Dirlewang rather than give up one jot of the truth; by faith he lived at Munich, and spread the good news of the kingdom; by faith he went to Petersburg; by faith he was led to Berlin; by faith he sustained the hearts of one hundred missionaries, and bore the burden of twenty stations, and built an hospital, and wrote Jesus upon thousands of lives. By faith—by prayer—that is his teaching. He was long in the school, learning and unlearning; it was the time of an ordinary life. But he left it ready for his calling; and such a teacher never dies. The tediousness of pupilage is no waste when the workman needeth not to be ashamed. From humble little Hausea and the unnoticed struggles of a country priest, to the '' Father Gossner" of a reverent religious Germany; from Fen-neberg's little parlour and the simple talk of the parish, to the furthest ends of heathendom, and a name that is lovingly spoken on every continent of the globe, is a mighty stride. Neither brilliant talents nor the tide of fortune helped him. Whoever seeks the way to it, wall find it to be that plain, old-fashioned one of faith and prayer. [For many details in the above sketch the writer acknowledges his obligations to the interesting "Biogra-phische Skizze," by Gossner's worthy successor, Dr Prochnow. English readers will be glad to learn that Dr Prochnow is preparing an edition of his little work for this country, and is only delayed by the increasing richness of his materials.]


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